Q1. How many tonnes
of fresh tomatoes do we import?
A1. Each year we import
over 300, 00 tonnes of fresh tomatoes (as opposed to processed tomato
Q2. What are the
concerns about imported tomatoes?
A2. There has been
industry concern over oversupply brought about by imports. This has
resulted in low retail costs and poor returns for growers.
Q3. How has
the strength of the pound affected foreign imports?
A3. The strength of the
pound has increased the flow of cheap foreign imports. Around 190,000
tonnes are imported from Spain and the Canary Islands, with a further
90,000 tonnes from Holland, 8,000 tonnes from Belgium, 9,000 tonnes from
Italy, 5,000 tonnes from France and 3,000 tonnes from Israel.
Q4. Where are
tomatoes mainly imported from?
A4. Tomatoes sold in
Britain in the winter are often imported from Spain or the Canary
Islands, traditionally trough the winter, but with the season being
increasingly extended through the rest of the year. In order to cope
with the voyage, they tend to have thicker skins and are picked while
Q5. What other
countries are tomatoes imported from?
A5. There are also
imports from Holland, Belgium, France, Morocco, Italy, Israel, Portugal
and South Africa.
Q6. How are tomatoes
grown in these countries?
A6. Even in Spain, the
sun does not always shine; most crops are grown in greenhouses covered